When we talk about the climate emergency, we focus in on CO2, a long-lived gas whose release will eventually roast our planet and boil us all in our own skin. But a potentially more important threat is methane, which 84 times more greenhouse-y than CO2.

Thankfully, methane's effects taper off quickly as the gas breaks down, which means that if we can get a handle on methane release, it will cease to be a threat in short order.

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To that end, there's been enormous pressure on the oil and gas sector to cut methane emissions.

Oil and gas extraction and refining are a prolific source of methane emissions. And unlike the CO2 that's released when downstream users burn fossil fuels, methane is released by the fossil fuel sector itself, which means that it is best poised to take action to halt it.

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For years, oil and gas giants have self-reported their methane emission rates, claiming to have made great strides in capture or reduction, especially when a well is decommissioned (decommissioned wells leak incredible quantities of methane unless they're properly sealed).

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From the start, we've known that they were lying about these numbers - the measurements of atmospheric methane demonstrated that the sector was *not* dealing with its messes, and was cooking the books, but it was impossible to say which companies were lying and by how much.

Until now.

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Follow

Reuters has just published a first-of-its-kind analysis of a dataset of observed methane emissions from different oil and gas companies' facilities and wells, imaged by high-resolution satellite cameras.

reuters.com/article/emissions-

The worst liars are Shell, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Marathon Oil and Exxon Mobil. Contacted by Reuters, spokescriminals representing each of these companies defender corporate genocide with a string of lies, each more risible and ghastly than the last.

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None of the spokespeople were identified by name, which may shield them from a criminal and humanitarian reckoning when we give apply the corporate death penalty to their employers and try their executives for crimes against humanity.

Image:
Cristian Ibarra Santillan (modified)
flickr.com/photos/cristian_iba

CC BY:
creativecommons.org/licenses/b

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